Candidate Gary Schad (R), Northern Commissioner
July 29, 2020
What do you think is the biggest concern Barry County faces, and how would you fix it?
Drugs. Specifically, opioids and meth. Public safety (the Sheriff and the Prosecutor) take up over half of the county budget due to crimes related to drug abuse. The commission continues to fund public safety to the best of our abilities, but with more and more cases it's hard to stay ahead. We also belong to the St Louis Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). This has been a great way to stop prescription drug abuse. The commission also supports our local drug court rehabilitation program. We will continue to lobby our state and federal legislators to pass legislation that will untie our sheriffs and prosecutors’ hands and hopefully give us some teeth in this fight.
What is your opinion of the present budget and what changes, if any, would you make if (re)elected?
Yes, I believe we present a fair and balanced budget. Is there room for improvement? Sure. We are not perfect. For the most part the Commission does a good job for our situation and circumstances. As you know, we live and die by the amount of revenue generated by the county sales tax. So, we budget very conservatively. Any economic downturn or pandemic can affect the county drastically. We are so blessed to have a group of office holders who understand this. They might not get everything they want, but we make sure they have everything they need to run their office.
If (re)elected, how will you be sure you’re hearing the concerns of all demographics of Barry County citizens?
For those that may not know, the commission is available 24/7. Our personal phone numbers are posted on the office door and on the office answering machine. We hold regular office hours and have an open-door policy, meaning we do not require you to be on the agenda to visit with us. We also attend various monthly and quarterly board meetings. We are highly accessible and in view of the public. This won’t change no matter who is elected.
What changes, if any, would you make to the office?
Very few to none. We run a very conservative and efficient office. We have great working relationships with the other office holders. If it's not broke don't fix it.
What is your plan for your first 90 days in office, if (re)elected?
In the first three weeks we set the county budget for the year. These are pretty intense days. I will do my best to assemble a fair and resourceful budget. After that it's business as usual: tackling problems as they arise, paying bills, working on an array of projects, and serving the citizens of a county I love. There is nothing flashy about the county commission. We are here to ensure the citizens of Barry County have access to the services needed to live a quality life.